The Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare is pleased to launch the Pathways to Caring report, which analyses the choices and decision making of people enquiring about becoming foster carers.
Within Victoria there is strong community interest in foster care, with more than 2000 households annually enquiring about becoming foster carers. Despite this interest, we have a significant carer shortage and just 10% of enquirers proceed along the journey to become accredited foster carers.
Following the completion of the Foster Care Communication and Recruitment Strategy in 2012, the Centre conducted research with enquirers to the Foster Care Hotline and Foster a Brighter Future website to explore the issues impacting their pathways to becoming carers.
The responses showed that investment in a targeted and centralised recruitment and communications strategy can have a substantial impact on community interest – particularly in segments of the community that don’t traditionally think of themselves as being eligible to become foster carers.
Most importantly, the research considers the concerns, community attitudes and information needs that must be addressed for us to convert enquirers into foster carers and establish foster care as a viable and sustainable option for children unable to live at home.
The report of this survey is the third in a series that the Centre has published reviewing the provision of foster care within Victoria.
Foster Care In Context: An Evaluation of the Foster Care Communication and Recruitment Strategy by Verso Consulting for the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare.
The Circle Program: An Evaluation of the Therapeutic Approach to Foster Care by La Trobe University, for the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare.
Pathways to Caring: Strategic Engagement of Potential Foster Carers.